Irish religious forced labour victims get compensation

This video from Canada says about itself:

16×9 – Slave Labour: Magdalene Laundries disgraced Irish Catholic women

Feb 6, 2012

For almost 150 years thousands of women in Ireland were sent to live in Catholic institutions, punished for crimes like having a child out of wedlock or petty theft, and forced to work in laundries run by the Church. But this dark past is not Ireland’s alone. In a 16×9 exclusive, we discover Canadian laundries and speak to a woman who says she was born into slave labour.

From the Irish Times:

Magdalene survivors to receive €11,500 to €100,000

Government provides at least €34.5 million to compensate women held in laundries

Joe Humpreys

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 17:07

Survivors of the Magdalene laundries are to receive lump sum payments of between €11,500 and €100,000 for their time spent in the institutions, the Government has announced.

Under a new compensation scheme, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said approximately 600 women were expected qualify for the ex gratia payments, and “crucially payment of these sums of money is not dependent on proof of any hardship, injury or abuse”.

While Mr Shatter said it was impossible to give an accurate prediction of total costs as the number of validated applicants had yet to be established “my officials estimate the total cost of these lump sum payments would be in the range of €34.5 million to €58 million.

A woman who spent any time of three months or less would receive a lump sum of €11,500, and the amount then increases. For one year it will be €20,500 and for five years €68,500. The maximum payment is €100,000 for women were in a laundry for 10 years or more.

Under a recommendation from the Quirke report, anyone in receipt of over €50,000 would receive the money not in a lump sum but in the form of weekly payments.

Allowing for this condition, “one off payments in the range would total €24 million to €40 million with total weekly payments amounting to €70,000 to €1.26 million annually.”

To minimise further legal costs, Mr Justice Quirke, president of Law Reform Commission, recommended that before accepting any payment, the woman should agree not to make any further claim against the State and should have access to independent legal advice.

Mr Shatter said it was in discussions with the Legal Aid Board on how to provide that advice.

The Department of Justice has set up an information line for survivors and possible applicants. Contact: 01-476 8660 or email

See also here. And here.

A [United States] Magdalene Laundry survivor speaks out: here.

8 thoughts on “Irish religious forced labour victims get compensation

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